With the 2012 Summer Olympics chugging along in London, the British Film Institute has made their choices for the greatest films of all time. These selections are compiled and updated every decade, and printed in their official magazine, Sight and Sound. There were 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors who participated in this uniquely international survey.
Vertigo narrowly trumped Citizen Kane as cinema’s finest contribution. This marks the first time Hitchcock has bested Orson Welles in this kind of classic film analysis. Other provincial entries in the Top 10 include 1927's Sunrise, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Searchers. Contributions abroad by Jean Renoir and Federico Fellini were also mentioned.
Personally, I’m astounded by the selection of #1. After recently watching Citizen Kane, I was again mesmerized by its intelligent craftsmanship. The cinematography is stunning. Vertigo is a faux Euro experience. The camera work is over-the-top and in-your-face; and it gets in the way of a convoluted plot line. The British director was better suited in delivering nonstop action in North By Northwest; riveting drama in Rear Window; and the sheer terror of Psycho, considered by many theatre-goers, Hitchcock's flat-out masterpiece of movie-making.
Leave it to the British to get me to ardently disagree with their findings!
And, speaking of The Searchers… TCM began their month-long Summer Under the Stars with the legendary John Wayne. Each day, in the month of August, a different actor is featured in a 24-hour tribute.
On Saturday, Turner Classic Movies will remember the passing of Marilyn Monroe, who died exactly 50 years ago. And, I’m looking forward to this Sunday’s homage to Claude Rains. I’d like to think my efforts in presenting the gifted actor in my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series had something to do with this day-long retrospective.
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